What Is Irritable Bowel Syndrome About?

By: Alexander West

The main symptoms of IBS are abdominal pain that comes and goes in a colicky manner, bloating where it feels like your stomach wants to explode, constipation or diarrhoea or both. In addition there is a change in the appearance and consistency of the stool in that it may be different colours and it is more than likely going to be covered with mucous, particularly the first pellet.

Although all the tests that your medical doctor puts you through to confirm IBS turn up negative, which is good, you feel like it does not help you because you do not know why you are in pain. Sometimes you want the medical profession to find something wrong with you because then there is a reason behind the pain and hopefully a way forward. When the medical profession have exhausted their tests and can find nothing wrong with your bowel, you are labelled as an IBS sufferer and will probably then start on a course of medication such as Mebeverine, which is an anti-spasmodic. Other medicines you may want to try are Peppermint capsules, Ispaghula Husk, anti-depressants; ironically not for depression, but because of the mind-gut connection.

A cure for IBS is difficult to find because the medical profession does not what causes IBS. One possible reason is a breakdown of the Peristalsis motion. The way Peristalsis works is through contraction and relaxation of the bowel wall. The peristalsis motion is going on all the time. Most people are not aware of the Peristalsis motion; one way it reveals itself is through a tummy rumble. In individuals who do not suffer IBS the Peristalsis motion knows when to contract and relax the bowel wall. In people who suffer IBS the Peristalsis motion seems to be confused in that the contraction and relaxing of the bowel wall is not in step with each other. In other words the bowel is going into spasm. The medical profession often make parallels between IBS and migraine headaches. In migraine headaches the blood vessels go into spasm.

The bowel muscle under IBS is too hard on itself. It feels like your gut is strangling itself or someone is living inside your stomach and trying to kick their way out. The bowel muscle is what is called an involuntary muscle. An involuntary muscle is one which we have no conscious control over. For example, blinking is unconsciously controlled, whereas moving your arm is consciously controlled. Moving your arm is an example of a voluntary muscle.

With IBS it must be remembered that there is nothing wrong with the bowel. Your food will still get absorbed and you should not experience vitamin and mineral deficiencies if you eat a healthy and balanced diet.

Bowel Problems
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